By Jake Donovan
Top Rank is set to resume its Metro PCS Friday Night Knockout series on truTV. The fall season premiere airs Friday live from The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, topped by a featherweight bout between unbeaten Oscar Valdez and former title challenger Chris Avalos. Photos by Mikey Williams/Top Rank.
Both fighters weighed in at 126.8 lbs. for the scheduled 10-round main event.
Valdez (16-0, 14KOs) is coming off of a wide decision win over Ruben Tamayo in June. The bout marked his debut on HBO's flagship network, with Friday's fight serving as his third HBO-affiliated appearance, with truTV under the same corporate umbrella. The unbeaten prospect—who served on the 2008 and 2012 Mexico Olympic team—also fought on HBO Latino last November.
Avalos (26-3, 19KOs) fights for the second straight time after a failed title bid earlier this year. The knockout artist from California came up well short in a stoppage loss to unbeaten 122 lb. titlist Carl Frampton earlier this year in Belfast. He has since rebounded with an eight-round decison win over Rey Perez in August.
The truTV-televised opener pits a pair of second-generation boxers, as Jesse Hart and Aaron Pryor, Jr. clash in a scheduled 10-round super middleweight contest.
Both fighters easily made weight; Hart weighed in at 167.2 lbs, while Pryor Jr. tipped the scales at 167.4 lbs.
Hart (17-0, 14KOs) is the son of Eugene 'Cyclone' Hart, the famed former knockout artist who was the prototypical 1970's Philly-based middleweight and currently serves as his son's lead trainer. The younger Hart is coming off of a 6th round knockout of Mike Jimenez on the non-televised undercard of the historic May 2 event topped by Floyd Mayweather's 12-round win over Manny Pacquiao.
Pryor Jr. and his brother Stephane have done their best to follow in the famous footsteps of Aaron Pryor Sr., a windmill punching machine from Cincinnati who was one of the greatest super lightweights (140 lbs.) in boxing history before drugs ruined his career.
His talent hasn't quite passed down to the next generation; Pryor Jr. (19-8-1, 12KOs) is just 8-8-1 since Dec. '08 after jumping out to an 11-0 start. The 37-year old journeyman is coming off of a 6th round knockout loss to Marcus Browne this past April.
Oscar Valdez, 126.8 lbs. vs. Chris Avalos, 126.8 lbs.—10 rds, featherweight
Jesse Hart, 167.2 lbs. vs. Aaron Pryor, Jr. 167.4 lbs.—10 rds, super middleweight
Egor Mekhontsev, 175.6 lbs. vs. Jackson Junior 177 lbs.—8 rds, light heavyweight
Mike Reed, 140 lbs. vs. Antonio Canas, 140 lbs.—8 rds, super lightweight
Erick De Leon, 130.4 lbs. vs. Angel Hernandez, 129.4 lbs.—6 rds, super featherweight
Alberto Torres, 126 lbs. vs. Christian Alejandro Silva, 127.2 lbs.—6 rds, featherweight
Frankie Winton, 127.4 lbs. vs. Thomas Smith, 126.8 lbs.—4 rds, featherweight
Jake Donovan is the managing editor of BoxingScene.com
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